The top 7 books to read in September 2022

Here are
The top 7 books
I plan to read in September 2022

Two special things this month:

  • On September 12, I’ll be participating in the Zoom discussion hosted by Rebecca at the Virtual Crime Book Club (you can join by giving your email address in a comment there).
    I only participate when they pick a book that has been on my TBR for a while – see below which one it is this time
  • AND Words And Peace is turning 12 on September 29!

Click on the covers to know more


Eventide  Malice

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

After reading Plainsong almost ten years ago, I’m finally reading the sequel.
I so enjoy the slow pacing of the narrative.
The author is so good at giving you the flair of a country (rural Colorado), with a fantastic way of rendering dialogs. I feel like I’m amidst these people, with specific accents. I’m not listening to the book, I’m reading it, but it is so well done I feel like I’m actually hearing them talk.
So far, mostly down to earth folks, who live a very simple life. the type of people I can easily identify with.
There are events happening, but I think the focus is on the relationships between these people and the milieu they live in. On a small farm for the two older guys.

📚 Malice (Kyoichiro Kaga #4), by Keigo Higashino
Japanese mystery
Published in 1996
Translated from the Japanese by Alexander O. Smith (2014)
Reading for the Virtual Crime Book Club 

I really enjoy a lot Japanese mysteries, and Higashino is one of my favorite Japanese authors in this genre. For some reasons, I have read three books by this author, Newcomer with the same detective Kaga, but not this one.

I’m only at the beginning of the book, shortly after Hidaka’s murder. I have some ideas, but I’m probably completely wrong!

“Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis.”


  Le Chant du monde Murder in the Crooked House  

When I Whistle

📚 Le Chant du monde, by Jean Giono
Literary fiction
Published in 1934.
Translated in English as The Song of the World
It counts for The Classics Club.
I’ll start reading it later on today, with one of my French students

I may have read this in my early teens, not sure. It will be good to revisit. Especially for the pastoral setting.

“Of Sailor’s twin sons, the elder is dead and the younger is missing. A simple woodsman, Sailor resolves to find the boy, fearing the worst. Soon after he and his friend Antonio set off, they stumble across a blind girl giving birth. This strange circumstance proves typical of their journey into the heart of the forest. Sailor and Antonio discover that, though the lost Twin is alive, he is the target of a manhunt. As Sailor and Antonio attempt to rescue Twin, the adventures unravel at breathtaking speed. The net tightens around the three men until one of them is trapped and killed. And only then does the real action of this remarkable picaresque novel begin. In Giono’s universe, no murder shall go unavenged.
This tale of primitive love and vendetta is cast in a timeless landscape of rive, mountain and forest. With its taut, fast-paced story and pastoral setting, The Song of the World is another triumph from the celebrated author of the Man who Planted Trees.

📚  Murder in the Crooked House (Kiyoshi Mitarai #2), by Soji Shimada
Japanese mystery
Published in 1982
Translated by Louise Heal Kawai (2019)

I just discovered Shimada, and was very impressed by volume 1 in this series, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, that I’m going soon into volume 2.
These two books were on my list for the Japanese Literature Challenge at the beginning of 2022.

“The Crooked House sits on a snowbound cliff at the remote northern tip of Japan. A curious place to build a house, but even more curious is the house itself – a maze of sloping floors and strange staircases, full of bloodcurdling masks and uncanny dolls. When a guest is found murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances, the police are called. But they are unable to solve the puzzle, and more bizarre deaths follow.
Enter Kiyoshi Mitarai, the renowned sleuth. Surely if anyone can crack these cryptic murders it is him. But you have all the clues too – can you solve the mystery of the murders in The Crooked House first?”

📚  When I whistle, by Shusaku Endo
Literary fiction
Published in 1974
Translated from the Japanese by Van C. Gessel (2008)
It counts for The Classics Club

I have only read five short stories by this major Japanese author, and it was a bit disappointing (maybe because of the format), so I’m going to give it another try. This one seems very different.
This book will finish the list of the 12 books I planned to read for he Japanese Literature Challenge (January- March 2022).

“One of Endo’s most unusual and powerful novels is set largely in a modern hospital, with themes and scenes that eerily seem to predate Never Let Me Go.
A jaded businessman has a chance encounter with the doctor son of his best friend at school, Ozu, and memories are stirred of a former love interest of Ozu’s, Aiko. The son of his friend proves to be contemptuous of the outmoded values of his father’s world and ruthless in pursuit of success at his hospital. The story reaches a terrible climax when Aiko, now a middle-aged cancer-sufferer, is admitted to the hospital and Ozu leads the way in experimenting on her with dangerous drugs.”


  Epitaph for a Spy  The Sword in the Stone  

🎧  Epitaph for a Spy, by Eric Ambler
Spy thriller
Published in 1938
It counts for The Classics Club

Wow, this is very impressive, so loving it, with great narration by Alexander Spencer – except he keeps saying [Saint Ga-Ti1] with the T like in ‘Tin’ in English, whereas -ti is usually pronounced [ssi] in French, like in Attention [atanssion]. So the correct pronunciation of [gassi1].
Very humoristic too!

“When Josef Vadassy arrives at the Hotel de la Reserve at the end of his Riviera holiday, he is simply looking forward to a few more days of relaxation before returning to Paris. But in St. Gatien, on the eve of World War II, everyone is suspect–the American brother and sister, the expatriate Brits, and the German gentleman traveling under at least one assumed name. When the film he drops off at the chemist reveals photographs he has not taken, Vadassy finds himself the object of intense suspicion. The result is anything but the rest he had been hoping for.”

🎧  The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King #1), by T. H. White
Children’s Historical fiction
Published in 1938
It counts for The Classics Club

I have never read anything by T. H. White, but I was very impressed by all the references to his book The Goshawk in H is For Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. So when I read her book in 2015, I decided to explore more T. H. White, with this famous series of 4 books.

“”Learn. That is the only thing that never fails.”–Merlyn the Wizard
Before there was a famous king named Arthur, there was a curious boy named Wart and a kind old wizard named Merlyn. Transformed by Merlyn into the forms of his fantasy, Wart learns the value of history from a snake, of education from a badger, and of courage from a hawk–the lessons that help turn a boy into a man. Together, Wart and Merlyn take the reader through this timeless story of childhood and adventure–The Sword in the Stone.
T.H. White’s classic tale of the young Arthur’s questioning and discovery of his life is unparalleled for its wit and wisdom, and for its colorful characters, from the wise Merlyn to the heroic Robin Wood to the warmhearted King Pellinore.
Golden Kite Honor artist Dennis Nolan has loved The Sword in the Stone since childhood, and he imbues White’s tale with magic and mystery in his glowing illustrations. Readers who know Arthur or are meeting him for the first time will delight in this beautiful rendering of one of the greatest stories of all time.”

Eiffel Tower Orange


23 thoughts on “The top 7 books to read in September 2022

  1. I think I read The Sword in the Stone many decades ago, but I do particularly remember White’s posthumous The Book of Merlyn (which was in fact an early draft for parts of the trilogy, some of which he cannibalised for the published books) — since I have a secondhand paperback copy of this I might revisit it soon though it’s a bit of a mishmash. I know I’ve read one Ambler, though it’s not the one you cite here.

    Apart from Ishiguro, and quite a few Studio Ghibli and other anime films, I haven’t consciously read any Japanese literature, a gap I mean every year to fill but never do. At least I now have a copy of Muramami’s Men Without Women to pick up when the urge finally takes me…


    • Ah yes I have read about various versions of TH White books!
      I don’t think Men Without Women is Murakami’s best. I would certainly not have read all he wrote if I had started by this selection of short stories. My favorite remains his novel 1Q84

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have only read The Sword in the Stone. I think you’ll enjoy that one. I read the whole of The Once and Future King, but when I tried to reread it a while ago I got bogged down in the Lancelot part and couldn’t get through it. Wonder how you’ll do …


  3. I read Malice for the Japanese Lit Challenge in 2021. I really enjoyed it and have been meaning to read others in the series. Part of me wants to save them for the next Japanese Lit Challenge. I love his writing style.


  4. Pingback: Sunday Post #65 – 09/04/2022 | Words And Peace

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